A group of bliss community members recently sat down to pen questions to studio owner Nana, about her plans for Bliss in 2021 and how the pandemic has played a role in continued and ongoing programming. Questions and responses below.
We see that Bliss Yoga has been actively offering many programs, including advanced training, over the past 8 months, even with a pause to your indoor classes. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected how bliss will continue to offer wellness services?
Yoga studios all over the world are navigating this exact question. Many studios have been forced to close their businesses, but we have been very fortunate that we will be able to offer our same programming and our community continues to stay active. We have decided to leave our Osu studio, and although we will miss the magic in that space, we are simply pivoting outdoors.
Bliss has also been a leader in full service studio programming in Africa, for close to 8 years now. We keep learning. We also continue to get creative and innovative in these times. For example, during this period of several past months, the studio was able to launch an online teacher training platform for all our 200-HR trainees, in conjunction with there in-person trainings. We are proud that we’ve worked really hard to offer better services and learn more about facilitating our programs.
Do you see yourself offering indoor classes anytime soon?
Of course going indoors, perhaps, into another future bliss branded location will – always – be in the cards! But safety – always first, for now. Bliss Yoga Accra has always been known to create really vibrant studio spaces. And we love that!! We’ve had 100s of yogis over the years from all over the globe practice with us. It’s an amazing energy. For now, we want to be patient and logical about what our community needs and what the world is going through. We will continue to offer all of our programs. The momentum has not stopped – we will just be operating in the safest way for now – outdoors.
Moreover, in-door classes of various kinds, that focus on breath work, are not bullet-proof safe. Size and space parameters, make indoor practice a tricky slope to climb. And because we continue to uncover more new elements about the virus, being extra careful in how we gather, is key to community safety.
What is your view about how yoga studios around the world are adapting to this current pandemic?
Resilience is a key theme for all of us. If we look at the definition of Asana, it says it all: “Asana” means the posture that brings comfort and steadiness. Unless the body is perfectly healthy and free from all toxins and tensions, a comfortable pose is not easily attained. Let’s continue to ask ourselves, if the environments we are offering are catering to the wellbeing of our students. The answer to such a question will lead us to stick to class programming, whereby safety comes first. Bliss stands by that. We love our community.
What is your top 5 tips on how to stay balanced in these times?
I would say the following:
- Try and get enough sleep.
- Get outside as much as possible.
- Connect with your friend and family. Virtual connections can be just as encouraging.
- Remind yourself, daily, that these are usually times and give your self a break more often than not.
- Seek help. There are many forms of therapy available to help you navigate your feelings and energy. Yoga is also a wonderful way to tune into you.
You were just featured on the cover of the 10th Anniversary issue of the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s magazine, a great moment, for you, as an entrepreneur. What are your reflections on that accomplishment?
It was incredibly humbling, but what is more encouraging to me, is that it’s a sign that wellness has taken hold in Africa and diversity plays a key role in our industry. I and Bliss are thrilled to be a catalyst for that.
How do people access bliss classes and services as we close the year and get ready for 2021?
Our class offerings will remain the same – shifting to outdoors-only. Teacher training and group classes will continue as planned for 2021. A new schedule, listing outdoor locations we are partnering with, will be published by Jan. 2021 or earlier. We also can’t wait to get our Bliss Hour community class back on the schedule. Stay tuned! Check our website and social media for updates. We are very easy to find on WhatsApp +233 50 954 6723, and our virtual assistants are always available. We look fwd to seeing more of you soon!